Q: How do you see the 2015 RB situation playing out especially now with Ty Isaac possibly in the mix?
A: First things first, Michigan is in a good spot at the very least. Damien Harris is a wild card right now, time will tell if he truly wants back into the fold with the Wolverines but he is remaining in contact with recruits/coaches and staying active with it on twitter as well so there’s still interest on both sides and, Michigan was his favorite growing up, tends to mean something too. Mike Weber is right in Michigan’s backyard and has said he isn’t afraid of competition which bodes well depending on what happens. I also think Alex Malzone could help attract Weber a little bit. Jacques Patrick still lingers out there as well as other targets in the class so Michigan definitely has options. With Ty Isaac, why wouldn’t you take this guy? Seems like the classic case of a young man literally falling in love with the area out at USC as opposed to the program and understanding just how far away from home he really was. If he wants Michigan now, why not take him? Again, as Sam has stated, that one is still very early.
A: The moment Derryck Thornton Jr. knows where he wants to go and has the offer in hand, he’ll commit. That could be this summer, that could be June 15, that could be later into the fall. My feeling is that this thing could very well be over with this summer and sooner than later. Thornton’s father is very excited to get to Ann Arbor and continues to rave about the program and the coaching staff, even saying he needs to become a Michigan football fan now. Things look very good for Thornton Jr. right now is what I’m saying. Now, many won’t believe me that Arizona isn’t as big of a threat as people think, even after picking up a stud point guard in the 2015 class, and that’s fine, but Michigan’s greatest competition in this race is Kevin Ollie and Connecticut. UNLV and USC are more or less the hometown, local type teams that they’ll give a look to, as well as California based on Thornton Sr.’s relationship with the staff.
Q: Will Jamal Murray get an offer as a two if Thornton Jr./Winston commit first? Or is Murray viewed solely as a one?
A: Well, first of all, I believe Jamal Murray to be ahead in the pecking order when it comes to he and Cassius Winston. Murray has great size, very diversified game, plays against the best competition in the world at his age group, and can play multiple positions. I do think the Murray’s want him on the ball at the next level so it would be interesting to see what would happen if Michigan offered him as a two because I think the Wolverines feel he can play both positions. Thornton Jr. is the overriding favorite to land off No. 1, and personally I believe Murray would be next in line right now based on his play and potential.
A: Eron Harris and Jalen Coleman would fill the same role at Michigan and both would technically count toward the 2015 class. If Harris commits, Coleman is out and vice versa, it just wouldn’t be necessary to take two guys for the same exact role in one class. The same can now be said for Eric Davis I believe, first one to take the offer gets it.
Q: How realistic is Henry Ellenson as a big man in the 2015 class?
A: Michigan has made some strong strides in this recruitment. Ellenson is the perfect type of big for what John Beilein and the Wolverines want to do. Now with a bit of a limited pool of big men they’re really in on, Ellenson needs to get to campus to check things out for himself and I believe an offer would be waiting for him. Michigan has also continued to stay in contact with 2015 big Josh Sharma.
Q: How productive will Ricky Doyle be next year? What big man steps up and fills the void in your eyes?
A: Doyle continues to grow and get back into tip top shape after dealing with his foot injury. Doyle is never going to impress people with incredible athleticism or mind boggling plays but is extremely skilled for his size, can finish high at the rim, rebounds and can shoot it in the mid range. There’s an opportunity this year and Doyle will be counted on to provide some minutes, in my opinion. I think physically, Doyle is tough enough to come in and adjust fine to the college level with the Europe trip looming large for him in August.
Q: Can you see a class of 2016 comprised of Leaf, Thornton Jr, and Battle? Do you think Michigan IS strong and can STAY strong with three guys like those, and possibly get them to all come together? Or am I dreaming too big?
A: In this particular 2016 class I’m actually authorizing folks to dream big. The amount of top, elite talents that Michigan is really in on is impressive and should provide flexibility for what could be a top five class in the nation. I really like the chances of Derryck Thornton Jr. ending up with Michigan and I’m telling you there is serious belief that Tyus Battle could just do the same. A small forward would still be needed in the class with that backcourt and T.J. Leaf, provided he visits, is one that could play a different role but be an asset to the class as well. Extremely intriguing to look at all of the moving pieces in this class but there is reason to be optimistic.